Thursday, October 25, 2007

I'm Slowly Turning Into You

There are a million tiny ways in which we can turn into our mothers. When I was a kid my mother was a perfectionist when it came to costume making and doll clothes. All the outfits my Barbie had featured matching hats, ponchos (it was the 70s after all), tank top shirts, and bellbottom pants. All hand knit and packaged with little color-coordinated high heel shoes. My mother would lie the ensembles on styrofoam trays, that, in a previous lives had served as the backing for some store-bought vegetable or another. The packages was neatly arranged and then finished off by securing clear plastic wrap over them.
She sewed perfect hemlines in skating costumes that got worn on the ice for all of two minutes when other moms simply cut skirts off at the right length and didn't even bother to turn up the bottom.
On Sunday I made my first-ever scarecrow. As noted previously, it doesn't have a penis.
It's a decent scarecrow, but not anything to crow about. I tried to complete it in an afternoon and not obsess over details. In my sixth grade after school art class we made life-size dolls, from pillows, tights, and wigs. My doll had a nylon heads that I hand-stitched a face onto. I called her Suzie. It took all my willpower not to take scarecrow creating to the level of life-size doll making. I worked hard to convince myself the scarecrow didn't need a wig. It didn't need any hair. It didn't even need a face. For clothing I settled on a plaid shirt and resisted putting my old frayed-around-the-sleeves jacket on over it. For the head I ended up using a plastic shopping bag stuffed with other bags, covered by a baseball hat. The only problem being I couldn't find the duct tape to secure it and it's been windy every night since Sunday, meaning that every morning the scarecrow's head is somewhere in the yard.
I think this lends a legend of sleepy hollow-type air to the whole thing.
I carried the don't-sweat-the-small-stuff philosophy, otherwise known as "don't become your mother," into last night as well when I spent two hours sewing white stripes onto C's pirate vest. A pirate vest should have stripes, I reasoned; but after using the better part of two hours to sew three stripes onto one side of the front of the vest and still having the stripes on the other side merely pinned on, I revised my position on the subject. A pirate vest should have stripes on the front. The back could be left empty. After all, it only has to make C happy and he was perfectly happy without any stripes at all.

song: I'm Slowly Turning Into You • artist White Stripes

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